The contract for the Adelanto ICE detention facility in California has been extended through June after staff pushback

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A San Bernardino County immigration detention facility at risk of permanent closure will remain open until at least mid-June, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Wednesday.

ICE spokeswoman Jenny Burke said in a statement that the extension “provides additional time to potentially mitigate ongoing litigation preventing full use” of the Adelanto ICE Processing Center.

“The location and availability of detention directly impacts the agency’s ability to transfer individuals to their countries of origin, enforce immigration law within the country, and detain those who threaten public safety or national security,” Burke said.

The facility was originally scheduled to close a week before Christmas, but last month, ICE extended the contract until mid-February. About 350 unionized workers work at the facility the agency urged to find a way to keep it open, while advocates for detained immigrants celebrated the potential closure.

The Adelanto detention facility has a capacity of 1,940 people, but it now holds only a small number of detainees. Its population declined significantly in 2020 after the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak led the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California to sue and Federal judge to order the Release of detainees And the new intakes stop.

Three years later, this is still the case.

Read more: One of California’s largest ICE detention centers may close. Staff are urging Biden to keep it open

ICE guarantees that it will pay contractors for the minimum number of beds, regardless of whether they are full or not. Both supporters and opponents of the facility have called it a waste of taxpayer money to keep Adelanto staffed and running while overseeing a small number of detainees.

Adelanto, one of California’s largest immigration detention facilities, has been investigated by state oversight agencies for health and safety violations, including disciplinary segregation and exposing detainees to toxic chemicals.

If it closes, six other privately run facilities will remain operational in the state.

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This story originally appeared on Los Angeles Times.

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